Georgia Manufacturing Extension Partnership – Helping Companies Embrace Automation
The Georgia Manufacturing Extension Partnership (GaMEP) is part of Georgia Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute and has locations in nine regions across the state. GaMEP is a federally funded organization, making it more cost effective for small manufacturing businesses compared to traditional consulting, and uses resources from Georgia Tech to assist companies.
The purpose of GaMEP is to coach and educate manufacturing companies in order to reduce bottom line costs and increase productivity. Part of their coaching includes helping companies adapt to and embrace automation in the manufacturing industry.
GaMEP has been outspoken about the benefits of automation – pointing out that technology can help ease labor challenges faced by businesses and that as jobs are displaced by automation, new jobs are created. A recent study by Deloitte found that while automation eliminated 800,000 jobs, it created 3,500,000 new positions that paid on average $13,000 more than those they replaced. The Director of GaMEP recently led a panel at an economic development conference about automation and explained that automation has been instrumental to the growth and success of manufacturing companies in Georgia.
GaMEP helped several companies across the state embrace automation – including Shaw, Helena Industries, and Fondarific. All of these companies are reaping the benefits of automation, including increased revenue, lower labor costs, and a decrease in inventory. Representatives from these companies are being nominated for awards such as the Top 10 Faces of Manufacturing and Georgia Small Business Person of the Year.
Overall, GaMEP is helping combat negative stereotypes about automation in manufacturing, and helping companies become more productive.
University Of California – Expanding Innovation & Entrepreneurship
In January 2017, the California legislature passed Assembly Bill 2664, which granted the University of California system a one-time award of $22 million to expand innovation and entrepreneurship among its campuses. Each of the 10 University of California campuses was given $2.2 million to promote innovation and entrepreneurship throughout their community. Each campus is expected to leverage public-private partnerships in order to use the $2.2 million in a way that is most beneficial for their community.
The funding is intended to:
- Encourage greater outreach to women, minorities and veterans in entrepreneurship,
- Increase seed and proof-of-concept funding,
- Expand lab and incubator capacity,
- Support deployment of successful programs across multiple campuses,
- Accelerate startup launch and growth,
• And create networking, mentoring, internship, and entrepreneurship opportunities.
The government support that the University of California received was unprecedented and is expected to have economic effects that reach far beyond their campuses.
Allowing each campus to use the funds at their discretion will enable them to address community-specific issues, improve the learning experience of their students, and promote innovation and entrepreneurship across the entire state.
The Council for Supplier Diversity, San Diego – Assistance for Minority, Women, and Service Disabled Businesses
The Council for Supplier Diversity has a long history of supporting minority, women, and service disabled-owned businesses in San Diego. Founded in 1999, the Council’s mission is to use Supplier Diversity Initiatives as an engine for economic development in underrepresented communities, which adds value to the supply chain, increases opportunity for diverse businesses, and reduces poverty. The Council offers Member and Supplier Services.
Member Services are for companies interested in expanding their own diversity programs, and for an annual membership fee the Council assists the company in engaging in more proactive diversity efforts. Supplier services give minority, women, and service disabled business owners access to resources like networking events with potential clients, certification services, and access to the Business Development Center.
The Business Development Center opened in 2012, and includes three main resources – office suites for suppliers in need of office space, professional meeting and training space for suppliers, and professional training and seminars. The Council’s main goal is to provide suppliers with opportunities to expand their businesses, and connect them with supportive members who might not have otherwise turned to a minority, women, or service disabled-owned supplier business.
The Council for Supplier Diversity is funded through renting out their office spaces in the Diverse Business Development Center, annual membership fees, and donations. The Council’s members include high-profile businesses like the San Diego Zoo Safari Park and San Diego Unified School District.
he San Diego Economic Development Department is also partnering with the Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation and Connect, a startup support company, to create Connect All – an accelerator focused on entrepreneurs in low-income and minority neighborhoods left out of the city’s recent growth.